Indepth Arts News: |
"John Henry Blatter: Video Installations"
2001-06-25 until 2001-09-02
Columbus Museum of Art
USA United States of America
In this exhibition of video installation
work by John Henry Blatter, the Museum
continues its long tradition of presenting
and collecting the work of local artists.
The show is the first of three one-person
exhibitions of work by Columbus artists,
to be held at the Museum and sponsored
by the Greater Columbus Arts Council
(GCAC). GCAC's sponsorship of this
series of biannual exhibitions will also
allow the Museum to purchase a work
from each exhibition for its permanent
This generous grant allows
the Museum an opportunity to continue
its tradition of celebrating, and honoring
local artists through the exhibition
and acquisition of their work, says
Annegreth Nill, the Museum's curator
of 20th-century and contemporary art.
Blatter recently received his Bachelor
of Fine Arts degree from The Ohio
State University. I am very excited
that John will inaugurate the series,
explains Nill. He is a young artist
just embarking on his professional
career, yet his work already demonstrates a remarkable depth and
originality. It deals with basic human
issues that everyone can relate to.
Blatter's work explores questions
of identity in an age when media,
particularly TV, pervades-and sometimes
invades-all aspects of our daily lives.
In Untitled (shoving), the artist is
the subject, as is often the case in
Blatter's video installations. The
work consists of a bathroom sink
mounted on a free-standing wall and
a TV monitor placed sideways on the
wall in the position of a vanity mirror.
The video is of myself coming into
the bathroom and performing my
ritual of shaving, so that as the viewers
stand at the sink, it is my reflection,
not theirs, they see in the mirror,
explains Blatter. The beard has been
a way of creating a mask to hide
from the world who I really am,
he continues. Shaving is for me a
ritualistic unmasking and I wanted to
do it in away that the viewers could
experience an unmasking of their own.
The GCAC sponsorship also includes
funds for the Museum to commission
the artist to create a new work for
the exhibition. This forward-looking
approach to presenting local artists
is integral to the project, says Nill.
We are able not only to show what the
artist has accomplished, but also to give
the public the chance to see what the
artist is up to right now.